The American National Bank Ardmore Cardinals are finally starting to hit their stride.
After a slow start to the summer, the Cardinals have won five of eight games and begin play in the South Plains Classic today through Sunday in Midwest City.
The Cardinals (7-9) finished 3-3 at the Austin/Grayson Invitational last week.
"We're finally getting all of our guys back and we're starting to play pretty well," said Cardinals coach Bubba Tamez. "We had a pretty good week last week and we're hoping to build on that this weekend."
Ardmore won two of three on the first day at the Austin/Grayson Invitational before splitting on the final day. Tamez noted that his club has seen significant contributions from several local players over the last couple of weeks.
"Gage (Goff) had a good week for us last week. He's been doing a little bit of everything for us. He pitched and won a game, caught a game, played third and hit the ball really well," Tamez said.
Alongside Goff (Madill), Tamez recognized that Chase Crites (Murray State/Caney) and Jake Patterson (Kingston) also had good showings last week for the Cardinals, something that's been a key to recent success.
"We are starting to get contributions from a number of guys and that comes from having all of our kids there," Tamez said. "We've been able to get into a better groove and that has helped us quite a bit."
Earlier in the year, the Cardinals were hampered by several rainouts and cancellations, which made it difficult for pitchers to get into a rhythm, according to Tamez.
"We had some sloppy games earlier in the year and that was due to all of the rain," Tamez said. "Our kids didn't have much time on the mound and that resulted in more walks than you want.
"But we've gotten to play more lately and it's helped us, for sure."
This week's tournament is one of the top American Legion tournaments in the state, hosted by the Oklahoma Outlaws. Ardmore will open pool play today with two games, followed by one game each on Thursday and Friday.
Follow the Cardinals on Twitter: @ArdmoreCards
South Plains Classic
At Rose State College
Ardmore Cardinals vs. Bethany, 10:45 a.m.
Ardmore Cardinals vs. SW Shockers, 1 p.m.
At Midwest City HS
Ardmore Cardinals vs. Pueblo (Colo.), 3:15 p.m.
At Midwest City HS
Ardmore Cardinals vs. Woodward, 8:30 a.m.
* Playoffs Saturday and Sunday, TBA